Saturday, March 24, 2012

Air Miles Cash, Bowling, Crystallised Flowers,

Air MilesDid you know you can now use your Air Miles for cash in certain stores – you can check at the Air Miles site for which stores in your area. It appears to be an exchange rate of 95 for $10. We never accumulate that many Air Miles, but a few years ago we got a hotel for free when we were flying to the UK and now I think we can get a full tank of gas (even at today’s prices) so, not a lot, but its still free gas. Basically there are not many places where we shop that are members of the Air Miles programme which is why we don’t get many.

Having been moaning and groaning everywhere about how badly I have been bowling lately, I was thrilled, yesterday, to have three excellent games. I don’t have to hang my head in shame any more, LOL. Bowling is the oddest game out, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for why one can bowl so well one minute and so badly the next. We all do it, even the professionals have off days, if not as many.

I then decided to look for crystallised violets. You would think I was asking for a Vulcan product or something, the looks I got. One store clerk thought I was after flowers about which he assured me, he knew nothing. I ended up traipsing around three stores by wFlowers 001hich time, I was knackered. Its very odd that all the baking supplies are at the other end of the store, the back end usually. When I got home I phone Vincenzo’s which is my favourite deli store and they said they usually carry them, but were out of stock. Glad we didn’t make the effort to go back there. I then decided to try making my own. I happened to have some egg whites in the fridge so I used some of those, beat them until they were foamy, covered three flower heads, 2 pansies and one violet (all I had) and then coated them in sugar. As of the time of writing, I am not quite sure how they will turn out, they have to dry over night. In fact, I also decided to make meringues  out of the rest of the egg whites – once they are done and sitting drying in a cooling oven, I will put the flowers in with them to dry out as well. Never tried it before so will be interested to see how they turn out. I have never been that successful with meringues either so keep your fingers crossed for me. I will tell you on Monday how it all turned out. By the way, there is a useful chart here telling which flowers are edible. I already knew some and have used them without crystallising but others I had no idea.

All of this because we have a dinner party tonight so we will both be busy today.

Got an email with Mad Men Cocktails (Mad Men being a popular TV programme, if you don’t know). Manhattan is one of my favourites, but this is not the way we make it. I actually have a Rob Roy which is made with Scotch, but basically they are the same. I don’t put Grand Marnier in mine and I add a couple of Maraschino cherries instead of the twists. Pretty good drink anyway. These can be pretty lethal so be careful with them.

manhattancocktailManhattan Cocktail


    1. Ice
    2. 12 ounces sweet vermouth
    3. 8 ounces rye
    4. 2 ounces Grand Marnier
    5. 16 dashes of Angostura bitters
    6. 8 orange or lemon twists
    1. Fill a pitcher two-thirds full with ice. Add the vermouth, rye, Grand Marnier and bitters and stir for 30 seconds to chill. Strain into 8 chilled martini glasses; top each with a twist.

    Have a great weekend



    1. Hi Jo .. I wouldn't think about looking for those, unless I was in London .. probably though you can get them on the internet now.

      We used to have crystalised violets and roses brought home with chocolates by my father - when we used to play bridge .. delicious and scented creams accordingly ..

      Cheers Hilary

    2. I remember those types of chocolates with the crystalised flowers on top. I couldn't believe I was unable to find them although the one deli shop does have them usually. Mine were OK but I rather overdid the egg white. Must get myself a proper brush.